Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Delivery, handling and storage of powdered materials

Delivery, handling and storage of powdered materials

This guidance covers delivery, transfer and storage of dry raw materials. Your supplier may deliver dry raw materials to your site on wagons, and you may then transfer them to storage areas by conveyers. They may be stored in stockpiles or stock pens.

Handling, mixing and drying of raw materials can release particulates into the air and can cause air pollution. Particulates are small, airborne fragments such as dust.

What you must do

If you dry sand or other minerals you will need to comply with the requirements set out in the 'Process Guidance Note 3/15b (04) Secretary of State's Guidance for Mineral Drying and Cooling'.

GOV.UK: PG3/18 Mineral Drying and Cooling

Good practice

These methods can reduce the amount of raw material your process uses, the amount of water you use for washing down and the amount of wastewater you produce.

If you receive deliveries of dusty materials, you should:

  • have materials delivered in enclosed containers or sealed bags
  • use an enclosed delivery method such as pipelines or covered conveyors
  • use oil dampened or wetted materials
  • where possible, substitute granular alternatives for dusty materials
  • use covered wagons or covered rail trucks
  • unload in a covered, enclosed area
  • maintain a high standard of housekeeping on-site.

Where possible, store all dusty, or potentially dusty, materials in fully enclosed containers, such as in silos, or in confined storage areas within buildings.

If you store materials outside:

  • locate stockpiles and conveyors as far away as possible from residential properties
  • protect them from wind whipping, for example by covering them, and by using fencing and other containment methods
  • where possible, use storage bays
  • use dust suppression techniques during dry weather on areas of the site that will give rise to dust clouds.

If you transfer dry materials from wagons to storage areas using a conveyer, you can reduce spillage by:

  • controlling the delivery speed to maintain careful delivery practices
  • using a collection method, for example plastic sheeting beneath conveyers, to catch any spillages and transfer them directly into the storage area
  • adjusting the drop-off height of the conveyors.

If you sample delivered material on receipt, you should carry out the sampling within an enclosed area, and preferably under cover.

Where necessary, use wheel-washing facilities at exits onto public highways.

Wheel washing at construction sites

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